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Costly Error Steals Victory for Racers

 A costly error – the final out of the top of the ninth inning was dropped in left field by Bandits’ centerfielder Nicole Trimboli – would end Chicago’s night when the very next batter Jenny Topping slammed the go ahead run to give the Racers (25-14) the 2-0 lead.

Akron would add one more on a solo home run and claim the 3-0 victory over the Bandits in extra innings. 

With two on and two down in the bottom of the first, Chicago (23-10) centerfielder Trimboli stepped in to square off with Akron’s Brittany Weil. After working the count full, Trimboli watched as ball four soared high to earn the free pass.

Bases were juiced for Bandits second baseman Kristie Fox, but the Bandits could not produce as Fox ended the inning with a ground out to first.

In the bottom of the second with Jamie Schloredt on first, Bandits short stop Laura Harms blasted a pitch to shallow centerfield. Akron’s Lisa Modglin would have none of it, catching the out and then firing it to first to double up Schloredt for a double play.

Weil held tough in the bottom of the third when the Bandits threatened with Stacy May on third and two down. Weil force Jennie Finch to strike out swinging for the final out of the inning.

With two on and two down in the top of the fourth, Bandits centerfielder Trimboli made a run-saving catch to end the inning when she robbed Akron’s Jamee Juarez with a leaping grab towards the outfield fence.

Bandits’ pitcher Eileen Canney continued her hot streak in the circle through five innings of work by only allowing one hit through the first five. In the sixth, Canney gave up just her second hit of the game to Akron’s Modglin after she dropped a single in down the right side line.

Modglin advanced to third two outs later, but could not come around to score as Canney forced Akron’s Crystl Bustos to pop out down the left field line.

The pitcher’s duel between Canney and Weil continued into the seventh inning, with both Akron and Chicago getting chances to capitalize. Unfortunately, both pitchers held tight as neither team could score through the seventh.

With two down in the bottom of the eighth, Chicago’s Folden blasted a pitch deep to left center field on a rope. Akron’s Modglin was on her horse though as she robbed Folden for the final out.

The Racers threatened in the top of the ninth when Bustos stepped in to bat with Pasquerrella on second. Bustos would return to the dugout for out number two as Canney forced a pop up.

Two pitches later and with Pasquerrella now on third, Akron’s Topping blasted the 1-1 pitch deep to left field and off the scoreboard for the go ahead two-run home run, putting the Racers up 2-0.

Then, on the very next pitch, Juarez struck, putting the Racers up 3-0. Radara McHugh claimed the victory in the circle for the Racers after throwing 1.3 innings. Canney (9-3) finished with 9 innings pitched, four hits and seven strikeouts in the effort.